One year ago... Waiting. Wondering. Imagining. Dreaming. Anticipating.
And then…WHAM. Whoa. Holy crap. WTF. Is there a rescue button?!
To the woman in this photo, if I could speak to you while you gaze down at your belly in wondrous naïveté, these are the words I would share…
…motherhood is not going to be what you expected. It’s going to be so so much harder than you imagined, and for very different reasons than you had pictured. But, it’s also going to be infinitely more incredible than you dreamed. You will develop a bond like no other, and you will lover harder than you thought one's heart ever could.
…drop all your preconceived notions. Let things be as they are, and unfold in their own way. Drop what you think your days will look like. When you expect to go back to the gym. If you’ll go back to the gym. What you think your body will or won’t look like. What you think your body will or won’t feel like. How you will adjust mentally to being a mom. How you will adjust to being a mother, and still a wife. How your friendships will change - because they will change. Trust that everything is temporary. And trust that not all change is bad. Know that it’s all going to be okay.
…ask for help. It does not make you weak. It does not make you a failure. It does not make you a bad mother, wife, or person. It makes you brave. It makes you a better mother, wife, and person. You don’t need to wait it out if things feel like too much to handle. Ask.
… rely on the sisterhood that comes with motherhood. Find a few honest and kind moms who get it, and who will support you with love, honesty, and kindness. Lean on them for advice, for open talks, and the silent all-knowing hugs. You don’t need to repay them in any way. Repayment will take shape when one day, I imagine, you will become the one hugging a new mom letting her know that it’s all totally normal, totally okay, and it WILL get better. It does get better.
…your relationship with your husband will change. You will instantly see him in a completely new and fascinating way, with love bursting through every part of your body that very first time he holds your baby in his arms, looks down at their little face, and you know he’s telling your baby, only moments old, that he swears to take care of them forever. [Kleenex run…okay I'm back]. You will also, unfortunately, resent him for his unchanged body, his ability to book a teeth cleaning without worrying about a baby, and you will take out the tired days on him. Be open and honest with each other, and be kind to each other. The love that brought you together to make this little human is still there, keep nurturing it. A simple hour alone together over lunch and a drink is an instant refresher and reminder of why you chose each other.
…above all, be kind to yourself. This shit is hard, and you’re doing great. No, truly – you are doing GREAT. With everything constantly in flux, know that the uncertainty and chaos is temporary. This is just one small season. Make embracing imperfection your daily mantra. Be kind. You are doing great.
P.S. - Great job packing a huge supply of snacks in the hospital bag. Definitely do that again if there's ever a baby #2. Snacks are life. (See? I told you you're doing great.)
If you're currently pregnant, recently postpartum, or years postpartum, January session registration is open for a variety of classes to suit all skill and ability levels, as well as provide some of that great motherhood sisterhood support. Click here to view training options: rawfitnessyyc.com/prepostnatal.